Pharma Focus Asia

Arcus Biosciences, in Collaboration with Genentech

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Arcus Biosciences, Inc., an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing highly-differentiated therapies, today announced a clinical collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche group, for the evaluation of novel combinations with AB928, Arcus’s dual antagonist of adenosine receptors A2aR and A2bR, for colorectal (CRC) and pancreatic (PDAC) cancers. The collaboration will utilize the MORPHEUS Phase 1b/2 platform for rapid and efficient combination development, with upfront randomization versus control groups, in two studies:

  • Third-line metastatic CRC: two combination arms, (1) AB928 plus atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®) and regorafenib, and (2) atezolizumab plus regorafenib, will be randomized versus regorafenib monotherapy.
  • First-line metastatic PDAC: the combination of AB928 plus atezolizumab and gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel will be randomized versus gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel.

These new studies further broaden Arcus’s portfolio of ongoing trials with AB928, which include prostate, colorectal, lung and breast cancers – all settings in which adenosine has been shown to play a central role in mediating an immunosuppressive tumor micro-environment, inhibiting the ability of both the body’s immune system and anti-cancer treatments to effectively detect and kill cancer cells.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Genentech to expeditiously develop the broad potential of AB928 across settings and combinations where blocking the immunosuppressive role of adenosine may be critical,” said Bill Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Arcus. “This collaboration represents a shared commitment from Arcus and Genentech to maximize the potential of innovative combination treatment approaches, based on a deep knowledge of the underlying cancer biology, to address significant unmet needs.”

Under the agreement, each company is supplying its respective anti-cancer agent to support the trial and jointly funding the studies. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.

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